“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing“~ Albert Schweitzer
Sometimes I wonder if leaders at companies really understand the power they have, not just from a corporate strategic level but from an employee behavior level. Leaders today’s have a responsibility not only to shareholders but also to the employees that work at the organization and a leader that just focuses on shareholders, is in my opinion, not a great leader. We spend so much of our lives at work, thinking about work, worrying about work, and working, that collaboration should not only be a responsibility but a requirement of leaders.
As I’ve said many times, collaborative organizations can help make the world a better place. I keep hearing stories of how collaborative initiatives fail or are stalled because senior leaders are not supportive of collaboration and don’t lead by example. To me this shows a leader who is not as concerned with his employees as he/she should be and thus shouldn’t be there. Employees look to leaders to not only make the business successful but to inspire, teach, engage, and help employees grow. There is absolutely no way that these things can be accomplished without collaboration. This means that employees turn into worker drones that work hard to make the business successful while being miserable at work. How can we reward this type of an organization and call them great? If we equate a good company with how much money it makes then we have some serious problems.
When vendors, companies, consultants, and analysts focus on sole value of collaboration as pertaining to the enterprise they are selling the vision and concept of collaboration short. Collaboration in the workplace is not just about making employees more productive and making more money, it’s about being able to improve the general quality of life for employees inside and outside of the workplace. This is where the true of value of collaboration is and I think we will see more discussions around this in the very near future.
I adamantly believe that leaders who do not support, lead, and encourage collaboration at their organizations should not be there, they should be and must be replaced.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”~ Bill Gates
(Cross-posted @ Social Business Advisor: Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0)